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WFCO Launches Women and Families of CO Relief Fund for COVID-19 Rapid Response

// April 6, 2020

The Colorado Health Foundation Invests $500,000 in WFCO to Mitigate Gender Inequities During COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Efforts

The Women’s Foundation of Colorado (WFCO) announced today a new COVID-19 relief and recovery fund for organizations serving Colorado women and their families. According to many economists, the fallout of COVID-19 will deepen existing gender, racial, and class inequities and widen the gap in essential resources.

The Colorado Health Foundation invested $500,000 in The Women’s Foundation to launch the Women and Families of CO Relief Fund (WFCO Relief Fund). To date, The Colorado Health Foundation has invested more than $13.5 million in relief efforts throughout the state.

The WFCO Relief Fund will provide $320,000 in rapid-response grants to organizations across the state serving Colorado women. Additionally, The WFCO Relief Fund will provide funding to existing WFCO programs, including 12 direct-service grantee partners are part of WFCO’s WAGES (Women Achieving Greater Economic Security) cohort, and WFCO’s impact investing giving circle that makes loans to women-led social ventures and small businesses.

“Low-income women, single moms, and women of color will be hit much harder by the economic fallout of COVID-19,” said Karen McNeil-Miller, president and CEO of The Colorado Health Foundation. “We are pleased that we can provide these essential dollars to the only community foundation in our state with the intersectional gender-lens expertise to understand the breadth of challenges women will face through this public health crisis.”

Previously, in 2018, The Colorado Health Foundation awarded WFCO with a $1 million grant to support WFCO’s statewide reach, deepen its impact, and affirm its role as the anchor institution for the economic advancement of Colorado women and their families.

About the Women and Families of Colorado (WFCO) Relief Fund

The purpose of the WFCO Relief Fund is to rapidly and responsively distribute general operating grants to 501(c)(3) and other tax-exempt organizations that address the emergency needs of Colorado women and their families who are most impacted by COVID-19. Grant recipients could include organizations supporting victims of domestic violence, older women, women of refugee and immigrant backgrounds, women with disabilities, women experiencing homelessness, and more. The grants are meant to enhance the capacity of organizations responding to a variety of critical needs including housing, food, transportation, child care, health care, behavioral health, and more.

“For 33 years, WFCO has met the essential needs of Colorado women through our trusted research, public policy advocacy, and grantmaking. We will continue to do so,” said Lauren Y. Casteel, president and CEO of The Women’s Foundation. “However, in times of crisis, the issues that affect women disproportionately become even more pronounced, such as access to child care, health care, and livable wages. We are profoundly grateful for The Colorado Health Foundation’s generous investment and trust in WFCO to help meet the greatest needs of Colorado women during the pandemic.”

The grant application process opens Monday, April 6th, and the deadline to apply is Tuesday, April 14th at 5 p.m. WFCO will make grant decisions by the end of April using statewide community input and an equity framework. Grantees of the fund will receive $10,000 to be used for general operating expenses.

The grant application can be found at www.wfco.org/grants.

COVID-19 Community Support by WFCO

Since March, community support by The Women’s Foundation for the COVID-19 economic crisis includes:

  • Donating $10,000 to Colorado’s COVID-19 Relief Fund hosted by the state of Colorado and Mile High United Way. WFCO will participate in the grantmaking process as well by ensuring the needs of women are considered and diverse community voices are heard.
  • Offering WAGES public policy and direct-service grantees flexibility with WFCO funds already received in 2020.
  • Signing on to a letter to Congress to prioritize funding for the early care and education workforce as part of the CARES Act.
  • Sending letters to Colorado Senators Gardner and Bennet urging support for the nonprofit sector and tax strategies to encourage giving at this critical time.

“We’ve used our expertise and available resources to maximize community support, but the WFCO Relief Fund will immediately impact more women and families across the state as they provide for their families during the crisis,” said Casteel. “WFCO has been here for Colorado women for years, we are here now, and will be here to help women regain their financial footing after COVID-19 and for years beyond.”

Category: Announcements

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